Questions and Objections - Concerning the Christian Faith
Life has many mysteries. Why is there suffering? Why do we die? What is man's purpose on this earth? Is the Bible trustworthy? Can a man know that he has everlasting life? Where did Cain get his wife?
Discover the answers to these questions and many others as we deal with the most frequently asked questions and objections concerning the Christian faith.
This booklet has been adapted from the video presentation called, 'The Evidence' by Ray Comfort (of Living Waters). Used by kind permission.
1. When you're dead you're dead...right?
Many years ago there was a film starring John Wayne. Of course, it was a cowboy film. In one scene a young lady was laying on a rock with a gun in her hand, and she was going to kill John Wayne as he went passed, because he had killed her kid brother. As he went passed on his horse she shot at him, and he hit the dirt. She then walked up to kick the corpse, when suddenly he hit her in the back of the legs, she hit the dirt, and he then stood towering above her. She looked at him and said in unbelief, "How could I have missed?" And then in typical John Wayne fashion, he got his big hand, grabbed his shoulder, smeared the blood and rubbed it across her jacket and said: "You didn't!" Tough is John Wayne! He is the man that is still shooting Indians with 200 arrows in his back!
Well, that's Hollywood. But in real life, how did John Wayne die? Well, when he was dying in hospital he called for a preacher to his bedside to pray with him. You see, there is a Hollywood world, and there is a real world. The Hollywood part of you says: "I'm not afraid of dying! When you number is up, it's up! Once you're dead you're dead!" But the real part of you says: "Oh! I don't want to die!" That cry, "I don't want to die!" is your God given will to live. Listen to your will to live, because if there is one chance in a million that the Bible is right when it says that, "Jesus Christ...hath abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10), you owe it to your good sense just to listen to the claims of the Gospel.
2. "I don't believe in Hell...do you?"
As John Lennon once wrote: "Imagine there's no Heaven, it's easy if you try. No Hell below us, above us only sky." It is amazing how rational human beings can think that something doesn't exist, simply because they do not believe in it. Try that on the motorway. Imagine you are standing on the motorway and there is an eighteen-wheel lorry heading for you at 70mph. Then say to yourself, "I don't believe in lorries!" Our unbelief doesn't change reality.
The Bible speaks many times of a place called Hell - God's just desert for guilty sinners. Let me reason with you just for a moment about the existence of Hell. Imagine there is a judge in Florida who sees the workings of the Mafia: their murder, their rape, their drug dealing, but he turns a blind eye to the dealings of the Mafia. Well, he is a corrupt judge - he should be brought to justice himself! So if the Bible is true when it says that God sees all things (Psalm 33:13-14; Proverbs 15:3), including all the murders, the rapes, and the torture of human beings, then if He turns the other way, then God is corrupt by nature. But the Bible says He is omniscient (He is all knowing) and Holy (without sin).
In one ten year period, in the United States alone, there were 63,000 unsolved murders. That means that there are at least 63,000 murderers who got away scot-free. Think of a man who raped a woman, cut her throat, carved her body up, stuck her down the drain, and was never brought to justice. If God doesn't bring that man to justice, then God is corrupt as I said. But the Bible says that God is extremely thorough in justice, and He has set aside a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31). This is what Jesus said about the justice of God: "Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, IT WILL GRIND HIM TO POWDER" (Luke 20:18). When you grind something to powder you do a thorough job of it - there is nothing left. God's justice will be so thorough, that the Bible says it will, "Bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts" (1 Corinthians 4:5). Jesus said that if you as much as lust, you commit adultery (Matthew 5:28). He also said that if you get angry without a cause, you are in danger of judgment (Matthew 5:22), and the Bible says if you hate someone you are a murderer (1 John 3:15). So to say there is no Hell is to forsake all reason. It is the greatest gamble you can ever take, to say there is no Hell.
3. "There's no proof that God exists, isn't it just a matter of faith?"
Let me share an intellectually stimulating theory with you. It is my theory of where the Coca-Cola can may have come from. Billions of years ago there was this massive explosion in space. Nobody knows what caused this explosion - it just happened. Going through space was this large chunk of rock. On top of the rock was this sweet bubbly substance. Now over billions of years, aluminium crept up the side and trapped some of it in the can, and formed itself into a lid, and then a tab. Then over millions of years, red paint fell from the sky, then some white and a little bit of green paint, and formed itself into the words, "Coca-Cola, twelve fluid ounces. Do not litter". You say, "What are you doing? You are insulting my intellect!" And so I am! You know that if the Cola can is designed, it must have a designer. To believe that this happened by sheer chance, is to move into an intellectually-free zone. It is to have an echo when you think! It is to have brain liposuction! You have infinitely more chance of convincing me know one designed the Coca-Cola can as you have of convincing me there is no God. The whole of creation testifies to the genius of God's creative hand.
When you look at a building, how do you know there was a builder? Well, the building is proof there was a builder. You couldn't want better proof there was a builder than to have the building as evidence. You don't need faith to believe in a builder, all you need is eyes that can see and a brain that works. It goes like this: "Building = Builder!" Now the same deep intellectual scientific principle can be used with paintings and painters. When I look at a painting, how can I know there was a painter? Well, the painting is proof there was a painter. You couldn't want better proof there was a painter than to have the painting as evidence. You don't need faith to believe in a painter, all you need is eyes that can see and a brain that works. And exactly the same applies with the existence of God. How do we know there is a Creator? Why, creation is absolute proof there is a Creator. We don't need faith to believe in a Creator, all we need is eyes that can see and a brain that works. This is what the Bible says: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). So just as I don't need faith to believe in a builder, because I have the building as evidence, so I don't need faith to believe in a Creator, because I have creation as evidence. Now if I want to approach the builder to do something for me, then I need to have faith in him. The Bible says: "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
4. "Doesn't evolution disprove the Bible?"
Actually, I'm a backslidden evolutionist. For many years I believed the theory of evolution. I used to sit in front of the television, and when a long haired, long worded scientist came on and picked up a rock and said it was 50 million years old, I just nodded my head and didn't ask any questions. However, when I became a Christian I realised that evolution is a religion. It has a religious language - the language of speculation. The language is, "we surmise", "we believe", "perhaps", "maybe", "we suppose". There are never any facts for evolution. People can believe it, but it is just a theory. If you believe the theory of evolution, then you have to disregard the Bible, because the Bible says every animal brings forth after its own kind (Genesis 1:25). There is one flesh of beast, and there is another flesh of man. Also, evolutionists have a big problem, in fact many big problems. One of them is this: if we did evolve from the ocean, did the first 'land' fish have lungs or gills? If he had lungs, what was he doing evolving lungs under the water? Why? If he had gills, how did he survive when he crawled up by himself onto the beach for the first time? He would have needed lungs really quick! The second problem is: the first fish that crawled up (if he did have lungs and gills) he would also need a lady fish - because a fish can't procreate by himself. He needs a lady fish to develop lungs and then they can both crawl up together. Ask these kind of questions to the average follower of the theory of evolution and they will begin using the 'language of speculation', because without any facts that is all evolutionists can do - speculate!
There was a man named Lew Wallace many years ago, who walked the streets of London with a sceptic friend. As they looked at the steeples of the various churches they decided they would disprove the silly theory of Christianity. So Lew Wallace made the 'mistake' of studying the New Testament. He studied it for two years, and after two years studying the New Testament, he dropped to his knees and said of Jesus Christ, "My Lord and my God" (John 10:28), and later went on to write that great book, Ben Hur. So if you are a sceptic, don't worry about evolution, treat it as you would eat fish - eat the fish, put the bones to the side. Begin searching the New Testament and begin searching the Bible. This is what Jesus said: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
5. "I don't care what happens to me after I die."
Many years ago I had a bird aviary, and one day I went to the bird store to buy some new birds. The type I purchased were Java Sparrows. Java Sparrows are beautiful birds, which are silver in colour with red rings around the eyes. Usually when you buy birds from the bird store they put them in a brown paper bag, turn the top, then put staples in the top and cut a little nick out of the paper bag so the birds can breathe. I took the bag to my office and put it on my desk. When people came in to the office, we had the same scenario every time. They would see the bag moving by itself and say, "What is that?" I would say, "It is some new birds that I have bought". They would pick up the bag and have a look, and as they were looking in they would say, "Wow! What sort of birds are those?" And I took great delight in saying, "Mexican Eyepeckers!", and they would pull the bag away like greased lightening!
We value our eyes. We protect our eyes, and we have instincts to do so. I am going to show you how much you value those precious eyes. Imagine if I was an eye doctor, and I was offering one million pounds for an eye. I want to do eye transplants, and I'm prepared to pay you one million pounds for one of your eyes. It would be a glass eye, and would look as good as your other eye - but it wouldn't LOOK as good if you see what I mean. You would be blind in one eye. Would you sell an eye for one million pounds (cash - tax free)? You might say, "Well, perhaps." Here is the crunch: we want a matching pair (they must be fresh), and we are prepared to pay twenty million pounds for both of your eyes. Would you sell both of your eyes for twenty million pounds You may say, "Oh! Twenty million pounds! Now I can see the world!" Well, not quite. You wouldn't get to see a thing - you would live your life in total darkness. I guarantee nobody in their right mind would sell both of their eyes for twenty million, fifty million, not even a hundred million pounds. Your eyes are so valuable to you, they are without price. And yet Jesus said that you are to despise the value of that precious eye compared to the value of your soul. He put it this way: "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" (Matthew 18:9). In other words, of all the things you should prioritise in this life, it is not your health, it is not your eyes - it is the eternal salvation of your soul. Jesus said: "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).
6. "Will the pigmies in Africa go to Hell just because they haven't heard of Jesus?"
The answer is no, of course they won't. They will go to Hell for murder, for rape, for adultery, for fornication, for lying and stealing. If we have sinned, then no matter what location of earth we are in, we will receive just retribution. God will judge the world in righteousness. So those who are concerned about those poor ignorant natives in the heart of Africa, need to become missionaries themselves, and take the good news of the forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ to them, that they may be saved from the wrath that is to come.
7. "I used to be a Christian, but now I think it is a load of rubbish."
If this statement applies to you, then let me ask you a question: did you know the Lord? Now that puts you in a dilemma. Because if you say, "I thought I did", you are saying that you never knew the Lord and were in fact deceived into thinking you knew Him. All that time you were a 'Christian', you were a pretender. You thought you knew the Lord, but you didn't. If you say, "Yes, I knew the Lord", then the dilemma is that you are admitting that He is real and you are living in rebellion to Him. What actually happened is that you had a false conversion. Mark chapter four speaks of a false conversion: it talks about the stony ground hearer and the thorny ground hearer. Luke 9:62 says this: "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." You just didn't look back, you went back - proving there was something radically wrong in your heart. And if you are honest, you will have to admit that you didn't truly repent when you gave your life to Christ. You experimentally came and gave your heart to Jesus for some reason. So why don't you repent and put your faith in Christ for real this time? Make your calling and election sure. Cry out, "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). Where would you go tonight if you died? Where would you spend eternity? The Bible says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Truly repent and make your heart fit for the Kingdom. Then you will put your hand to the plough, and won't look back because you are fit for the Kingdom.
8. "Since God made me, isn't sin His fault?"
"God made me like this - sin is His fault." That's a very old argument. It was used in the book of Genesis. When Adam sinned, the first thing he did was blame God. He said, "The woman THOU gavest me caused me to take of the tree" (Genesis 3:12). That won't even work in civil court. Try it with the judge: say, "Judge! I did steal that car, but God made me do it!" It won't hold water on Judgment Day either when you stand before a Holy God. God will hold us personally responsible for our own sins.
9. "Aren't Christians just using scare tactics when they talk about Hell and judgment?"
A number of years ago, the United States embarked upon an advertising campaign in which they used crash test dummies. In the advert they asked the question: "What goes through the head of a dummy when he is involved in a head-on collision and is not wearing his seat belt?" And as they showed the crash in slow motion, a very deep voice said, "T..H..E S..T..E..E..R..I..N..G W..H..E..E..L", and then the advert showed the steering wheel crushing the head of the dummy. It then concluded the advertisement with, "Don't be a dummy - buckle up!" Now that is scare tactics! But nobody complained, because it IS a scary thing to have your head crushed by a steering wheel. It is a scary thing to be involved in a head on collision. They were legitimate scare tactics. So when Christians talk about Hell, and it puts fear in your heart, that is legitimate, because the Bible says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). In fact the apostle Paul said: "Knowing therefore the TERROR of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Corinthians 5:11). If you are not a Christian at the moment, I know why it is: it is because you don't fear God. You have your own conception of what God is like. It is a god that you have created to suit your sins, one you feel comfortable with. But when you look at the God revealed in Scripture, then you will begin to fear. Jesus said: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
10. "Is Jesus the only way to God?"
Some say: "I think that you are intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to God." It does seem intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to God. But listen to what He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). I think the key to understanding this question is to look at the uniqueness of Jesus. Jesus said, "The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6). Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the other major world religions cannot forgive sins. Jesus is totally unique because of the fact He died on the Cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. He said: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
11. "Why do we die?"
Have you ever noticed, when there is a mass death, the government call in the traditional church to do the funeral? In they come with their tombstone faces and monotone voices. They crank open their Bibles at Psalm 23 - the good old 'death Psalm': "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4). They think that verse has something to do with death, and yet it hasn't. It is the very opposite; "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death". When you are in the shadow of something, you are not in its reality - you are just in close proximity to it. If I am in the shadow of a wall, I am not in the wall, I am just very close to the wall. This life is the valley of the shadow of death. The Bible says of Jesus Christ when He was born, "To them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up" (Matthew 4:16). We sit in the shadow of death, in close proximity to it with eternity only a heartbeat from us. Each of us is part of the ultimate statistic - 10 out of 10 die. Andy Williams was right with his hit song many years ago, "Ain't it true no matter what you do, they are gona bury you beneath the cold, cold ground. Big or tall, long or short, or fat or small, its gona get you all". Well, why do we die? We die because we have broken the Law of God, an unchanging Moral Law. We are surrounded by laws: for example, the law of gravity. You transgress its precepts - you hit the deck, you die. In the same way, if you put a fork up an electric socket, you die. The Bible says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). "For the wages of sin is death". The good news however is the rest of that verse: "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
12. "Where did Cain get his wife?"
He actually married a distant sister. You say, "what about the Law? That is against the law?" The Bible says, "For where no law is, there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15). Cain didn't break any law, because there wasn't one. Now if you put two rabbits together, they multiply very quick. Well, God said to the first man and woman (Adam and Eve), "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). So Cain had a whole city to choose from. If you are married, then you have actually married a distant sister - a member of the human race.
13. "Is Jesus God?"
The Gospel of John begins with these words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). So let's go over to the beginning in Genesis 1 and find Jesus (the Word) in there in the beginning. This is what we read: "AND GOD SAID, Let there be light: and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). There is Jesus Christ, in the beginning. It was when God spoke - when His Word came forth and the creation was manifested. John 1 goes on to say: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (verse 14). In other words, God's voice became manifest in the flesh. This is why Jesus said very strange things about His voice. He said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). This is why He spoke to dead people and said: "Damsel, I say unto thee, arise" (Mark 5:41), or, "Lazarus, come forth" (John 11:43). This is why the Bible says at the resurrection, there will be a shout from God and the dead shall be raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Jesus said: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice" (John 5:28). Jesus said to Peter, "Whom say ye that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (verse 16). And then Jesus said: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (verse 17). Jesus clearly says that He was God. He said: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). The book of Timothy says that, "God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16). But the way to find out if Jesus is God is to call upon His Name. Jesus said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21).
14. "There are so many religions, how do you know which one to choose?"
"What about other religions? There are so many religions, what about them, can they find peace with God?" I think it is important to define the word religion. Religion is man striving to get right with God by his own efforts. In the East they lie on beds of nails, and in the West they sit on hard pews. Both are very painful to God and to man. Man can never reach God by his own religious works. What people are trying to achieve by doing so, is to bribe God to forgive their sins. If you study any religion, what they are trying to do is to obtain righteousness. They know they are sinners, and by means of good works, they are trying to wash away their sins. However, the Bible says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" (Titus 3:5). "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). Religion is man striving to get right with God, but in Christianity, God has made the way possible for man to be made right with Him through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
15. "If I'm offended by Christian things, how can you expect me to be interested in them?"
Let me tell you a story. Many years ago I saw a BBC documentary where they showed a man playing castanets to his tomatoes. Now I was offended! I said: "How could they give this man prime time television? He's a nut!" And then they showed him putting earphones on his tomatoes and playing classical music to them! I was just about to turn the television off, when I heard something that radically changed my mind. They said this man has his name in the Guinness Book of Records for growing the world's largest tomato - weighing four and a half pounds! I learned something that day: never judge something until you see its results. You know, when we see a little caterpillar on a leaf, twirling and getting itself into a cocoon, we don't say, "The stupid caterpillar! What is it doing?" Because we know a miracle of God is taking place. Within that cocoon a butterfly is forming, and we see a transformation. Now that is exactly what happens in Christianity. The world looks at Christianity and says, "Look at those Christians! Hiding from the real world in the cosy cocoon of Christianity - tying themselves in rules and regulations..." But wait! Don't judge it until you have seen the results. You are looking at the grub right at this moment. The Bible says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). A miracle of God is taking place, and God promises a brand new body to all those that trust Him. A body like Jesus had when He rose from the dead, a body of flesh and bones that could eat, and a body that you could touch. You can know the reality of this, simply by repenting of your sins and putting your faith in Jesus Christ. There is a new world coming the Bible says, "Wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13). If you repent and trust the Saviour God will seal you with His Holy Spirit, and will prove what He is saying. Imagine if I was a multi-millionaire, and I said to you, "In two hours I'm going to give you a million pounds, and as a token of good faith, here is a hundred thousand now on your lap!" You would say, "Wow! He really means it! I'm going to get a million pounds because he wouldn't have given me a hundred thousand on my lap right now if he didn't mean it!" Well, God says He will give us, "The earnest of the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 5:5) - as a down payment or a token of what He says is true. He will transform you by His Holy Spirit, and seal you, so that you know what He is saying is true. He promises you a brand new body and new world, where there is no death, disease, decay, and no more tears. Today, put your faith in Him. Put your trust in Jesus Christ and you will know the truth of what I am saying.
16. "If Jesus is loving and kind and doesn't condemn people why do some Christians?"
"Jesus was loving and kind - He didn't go round condemning people as some Christians do". The problem with this statement is that the 'Jesus' that never condemns people is not the Jesus of the Bible. Those who make this statement have actually created a FALSE Jesus that is ACCEPTABLE to their sinful and corrupt nature. When we look at the Jesus of the Bible, He spoke of sin, righteousness and judgment. He said things like: "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29). He said: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). The apostle Paul said: "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:9). We are idolaters by nature, we like creating a god in our own image. That's what we do as sinful human beings - we make Jesus acceptable to us in our sinful condition.
17. "Isn't the Bible full of mistakes since men wrote it?"
It is true - men did write the Bible. But let me ask you a question: when you write a letter, do you write the letter or does the pen? Well, you write the letter, but the pen is the instrument that you use. In the same way, God penned His letter to humanity through the instruments of men. The Scriptures say of themselves, "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). I have been reading the Bible every day without fail for about three decades, and I haven't found any mistakes in God's Word. In fact it is full of Scientific facts, medical facts, and full of prophecies that prove that that Book is inspired by Almighty God.
A young man once received a letter from a lawyer. The letter said: "You have been left money by your grandmother". So he went in to the lawyer, sat in his office, and the lawyer read him the letter. It (the last will and testament of his grandmother) said: "I hereby leave my grandson $20,000 and my Bible, and all that it contains." Well, he knew what the Bible contained, so he took that old Bible with its brass clasps and stuck it on the high shelf in his room. Then he spent that $20,000 in about three months, and lived his life as a pauper, barely scraping for every meal and the clothes on his back. About sixty years later his relatives had to come and take him away - he was so destitute. As he reached up to get a hold of that old Bible off the shelf, and as his trembling hands grabbed it, it suddenly slipped out of his hands and fell on the floor and opened up to reveal a $100 bill between every page! That man could have lived his life in luxury but didn't, simply because of his prejudice. The Bible is full of riches - the riches of everlasting life. It is the greatest riches that anyone could ever want. Don't let your prejudice stop you getting right with God. Call upon His Name. Say, "God forgive me, I'm a sinner." Confess your sin to Him, name your sin, and you will find that God will prove Himself to you and suddenly the Bible will come alive as the living Word of God which it is.
18. "Why is there suffering?"
Sadly, many use the issue of suffering as a reason to reject God, when in truth it is a very real reason to accept Him. The Bible actually gives us a rational explanation as to why there is suffering. The Scriptures tell us we live in a fallen creation, "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). The Bible says, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22). The creation devours itself and waits for the manifestation of what the Bible calls, "The sons of God" (verse 19). That means we are waiting for a new heavens and a new earth, "Wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
God promises a brand new body to all those that trust Him, a body like Jesus had when He rose from the dead. A body not subject to disease, death or decay. You can find this to be true, simply by obeying the Gospel. This is what Jesus said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). You can find the truth of what the Scriptures say by obeying the Gospel, and God will supernaturally reveal Himself to you.
19. "God is unjust if He sends a little old lady to the same place He sends Hitler: Hell."
Not according to the Bible. The Bible says God's justice will be according to righteousness (Revelation 20:12). God will be just on the Day of Judgment. In fact, Jesus said of hypocrites: "Ye shall receive the GREATER damnation" (Matthew 23:14), which informs us there will be degrees of justice on the Day of Judgment.
20. "Can't I wait until I'm old to become a Christian?"
Many years ago I had a friend who said one of the dumbest things I have ever heard anyone say. As we were going to drive away in his van I said to him, "Are you going to put your seatbelt on?" He said to me, "I'm not planning on having an accident!" What a dumb statement! No accident is ever planned! If it is planned then it is not an accident. When we do have an accident, or cancer strikes us, each of us as human beings have something in common. We say this statement: "I never thought it would happen to me!" And I guarantee everyone that has died before us, multitudes of people, if you could hear them talk, they'd be saying, "I never thought it would happen to me!" Well, it is going to happen to us! We are all part of the ultimate statistic: ten out of ten die.
I had another friend, his name was Craig. At the age of twenty, he had no desire for Christian things whatsoever. And yet, one day the doctor said, "Son, you've got cancer. I'll give you six months to live." His friends said to him, "Do a brothel crawl. Enjoy the last six months of your life!" You know, Craig wasn't at all interested, because he had a cry come within his heart, "Oh, I don't want to die!" Later that young man became a Christian. He was soundly saved and received God's gift of everlasting life. He did die six months later as the doctor said, but he had total assurance of everlasting life because his faith was in Jesus Christ his Saviour.
21. "Is there a difference between a Christian and a born-again Christian?"
Often we Christians are guilty of a superfluous statement. We say, "I'm a born-again Christian", giving the impression that there are born-again Christians and there are other sorts of Christians. This is not true. If you are born-again then you are a Christian. If you are a Christian, then you have been born-again. So what gives me the right to make a statement like that? Well, it is not me that is making the statement, it is Jesus Christ. In John chapter three He said: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (verse 7). He said: "Except a man be born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God" (verse 3). The word 'cannot' is a word of ability. Pigs cannot fly - it is without their ability. And you and I cannot enter the Kingdom of God until we are born-again - until we have a divine operation.
Why should we be born-again? Let me explain why. The Bible says, "God...commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:30-31). That standard of righteousness is the Law - The Ten Commandments. Now many people think, "Well, God gave the Ten Commandments as a standard for us to live by". Not according to the Bible. The reason God gave us Commandments was that we might see His righteousness, and therefore our own need of His forgiveness. The Law is like a mirror. When you and I got up this morning the first thing we probably did was look into the mirror, because we wanted to see what damage had been done during the night. We see an outstanding hairstyle, pale face, puffy eyes; so we then go from the mirror to the water to wash. So what we are going to do very briefly, is look into the mirror of God's Law to see ourselves in truth. Because that is what a mirror does - it reflects ourselves in truth. Hold on, as this is not a pretty sight.
The First of the Ten Commandments is: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). That means you and I are commanded by our Creator to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbour as much as we love ourselves. The Bible says: "There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11), and so not one of us can say that we have kept the First of the Ten Commandments.
The Second is: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" (Exodus 20:4). That means you should not make a god either with your hands or with your mind. I did that before I was a Christian. I made a god with my mind, a god to suit myself, a god that I prayed to every night, a god that I felt comfortable with. He was an idol, a figment of my imagination, the place of imagery. The Bible says that idolaters, "Shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).
The Third Commandment says: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). You shall not use the Name of the God Who gave you life as a curse word. And I say this with all the sincerity I can muster, if you have ever used God's Name as a curse word, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes on Judgment Day. The Bible says: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). The Scriptures warn: "For the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Exodus 20:7). "EVERY idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).
Fourth, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). Is it too much to ask? God gave us life so in return we give Him one day in seven?
The Fifth, "Honour thy father and thy mother" (Exodus 20:12). Well, I blew that in my teenage years! Just through a rebellious attitude in my mind, and the Bible says: "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Samuel 15:23).
The Sixth, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). You would think that we would be safe from that Command, but the Bible says that if you get angry without a cause, you are in danger of the judgment (Matthew 5:22), and, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer" (1 John 3:15).
Seventh, and this is the one that nailed me to the wall: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Matthew 5:27). I remember thinking, "I'm okay! I haven't done that one! I'll make it to Heaven." But then I read the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He said: "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (verse 28). And I thought, "No...it can't be! Does God see my thought life? If that is true, I'm in big trouble on the Day of Judgment."
The Eighth, "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15). What do you have to steal to be a thief? Paperclip, ball point pen...the value of the item is irrelevant.
The Ninth, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16). This includes fibs, white lies, half-truths, and exaggerations. The Bible says: "All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8).
Finally, the Tenth is: "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17), and who of us can say, "I have never desired something that belongs to somebody else".
We are all guilty! Every single one of us has fallen short of the glory of God, and on the Day of Judgment every secret sin we have ever committed will be manifest as evidence of our guilt. Jesus said, "There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known" (Luke 12:2). God will bring every work to judgment, including every secret thing whether it is good or evil. We can't say, "Well, I just didn't know...", because God gave us a conscience. The word conscience means, 'with knowledge'. Every time we lie, steal, lust, fornicate, blaspheme, we do it with knowledge that it is wrong, and on that Day we will be without excuse.
Now that is the reflection of what we are in truth, as we look at that mirror. "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). The worst thing you can do is to say, "I'm a sinner...I had better clean up my life!" Think of it, if I commit murder on Monday, then on Tuesday I'm really nice to people, I am still a murderer. If I steal on Monday and give back what I stole on Tuesday, I am still a thief. If I lie on Monday, and for the next fifty years tell the truth, I am still a liar. Time doesn't forgive sin.
What shall we then do to avoid Hell? Well, this is where the grace and the mercy of God comes in. God Who is rich in mercy and longsuffering, sent His Son, born of a virgin, to die on the cross. Jesus was no ordinary man. Listen to His words, He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). This was God in human form, His blood was different from the blood of Adam. It was a pure blood! He was sinless! He was the Lamb of God - the spotless Lamb Who gave His life as a sacrifice to pay for our sins. It is as simple as this: we broke God's Law, and Jesus paid our fine. When He was on that cross, "He was bruised for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:5). God, "Made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, God can count us as righteous because of what Jesus did on the cross. Salvation comes to those who have repented and trusted in the way of salvation that God has provided.
That is who a Christian is - someone who has been born-again. Someone who has transferred all of their hope and trust onto what Christ has done for us on the cross. The difference between believing in Jesus and being born-again is like the difference between believing in a parachute and putting it on. It may not seem much difference in this life, but when you jump you will see the difference. Only those who are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation will be saved on the Day of Judgment.
So, how do you become a Christian? Simply by, "Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). As a guideline, pray a prayer something like this (this is what is often called 'the sinners prayer', a prayer of repentance), just say in your heart: "Oh God be merciful to me a sinner. I have violated Your Commandments, I have sinned against You (confess and name all of your sins). I deserve Hell. But I thank You, that You are rich in mercy, and that Jesus Christ suffered and died in my place. I believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. I believe that Jesus is Almighty God revealed in the flesh. I thank You that He rose again on the third day and defeated death. I now yield my life to You Lord Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."
Now pick up a Bible (King James Version), read it every day and obey what you read. It is a simple as that. Jesus said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21). I want to sincerely thank you for reading this booklet, and may God be pleased to save you and keep you.